Conference Partners:
Conference Sponsors:


Individual Webcast at Your Computer
Group Webcast Sites
      -  Fairbanks
      -  Homer
      -  Kahului
      -  Kailua Kona
      -  Lanai City
      -  Carbondale
      -  Galesburg
      -  Normal
     -  Indianapolis
     -  Dodge City
     -  Hays
     -  Madisonville
     -  L'Anse
      -  Duluth
      -  Hibbing
      -  Mankato
      -  Marshall
      -  Minneapolis
      -  Morris
      -  Rochester
      -  St. Cloud
      -  Willmar
      -  Newberg
      -  Newport
       -  Springfield
      -  Abingdon
     -  Omak
      -  Ashland
      -  Casper
      -  Thermopolis

Registration is now closed.

Sponsor and Exhibitor registrations are now closed.

The mission of the Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference is to make quality continuing education accessible locally and affordably to behavioral health providers and researchers about the practice issues involved in working with rural people and communities.

THEME -- Clinical Resources for Rural Practice:  Rural practitioners continually adapt their work to the needs of rural people and communities, as well as to new practice models and research.  This conference will help you work with rural care’s ethical and practice demands.  This program is designed for psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals with an interest in rural practice and is at the intermediate to advanced level.

SITES --This conference will originate at the University of Minnesota-Morris, with presenters webcasting in and options to attend at group webcast sites or by individual webcast.  (See SITES in column to the right, below Conference Partners and Sponsors.) The first two presenters will present again at the end of the conference to facilitate participation by people in Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii time zones.  However, individual webcast participants are welcome to follow any of the schedule options they wish.  On the registration page, click first on the site you want, whether individual webcast on your own computer, or one of the group webcast sites where you can network with local colleagues as you participate in the conference. You will receive email instructions for your site four days prior to the conference.

For more information, please contact Conference Coordinator Kay Slama at 320-905-6051 or


Note the usual conference time for your zone: 9am-5:45pm EDT, 8:00am - 4:45pm CDT, 7am - 3:45pm MDT, 8:30am - 5:15pm PDT/MST, 7:30am-4:15pm AKDT, 7:30am-4:00pm HST.  Because lunch time will vary across time zones, no breaks are greater than 30 minutes, and lunch can be obtained during any of the breaks and eaten into the next presentation, if you wish. Individual webcast participants may follow any presentation times desired; you must show your presence and attention by entering on your evaluation the Attendance Verification Codes on all random slides to obtain credit for each presentation, including the poster session. Group webcast participants can also choose to attend one or more presentations individually on their own computers, but only at the simulcast times, and they must follow the Attendance Verification procedure for those presentations.

Click here for the detailed conference schedule in each time zone.


Relational Ethics - A Framework for Ethical Practice in Rural Settings
Jean Chagnon, Ph.D., LP, Anamaura, Woodbury, MN

Ethical codes of conduct are essential guidelines for professional practice.  However, rural behavioral health providers can encounter challenges as they work to apply common ethical principles, such as multiple relationships, to the nuances of small town or rural practice.  Relational Ethics is a decision-making model that outlines four core principles:  mutual respect, relational engagement, bringing knowledge back to life, and creating environment.  These principles, when applied in collaboration with professional codes of ethics, offer a framework that supports practitioners in resolving the myriad of ethical dilemmas that one can encounter as a rural behavioral health care provider.  This presentation will provide examples of the application of relational ethics to a number of rural scenarios, as well as an opportunity for small group discussion and input on one scenario.

Click here for more information.

Chronic Disease Management: An Integrated Approach for Rural Populations
J. David Bull, PsyD, LCP, Cherokee Health Systems, Maynardville, Tennessee

Fewer mental health and medical services exist in rural areas, despite poorer health outcomes among individuals residing in rural areas.  Treatment for commonly occurring psychological problems (e.g., depression and anxiety) can be complicated by co-occurring medical conditions.  Chronic health conditions also have a behavioral treatment component, in which behavioral health consultants can provide a critical role.  This presentation will discuss an integrated approach for working with a medical team to addressing the comprehensive wellness needs of patients who reside in rural areas.

Click here for more information. 

Using Video-based Telehealth to Supplement or Expand A Rural Mental Health Practice
Jonathan Neufeld, PhD, HSPP

Common outpatient mental health services that primarily involve conversations as the medium of treatment are almost ideally suited to being provided using modern telecommunications technologies. Researchers and clinicians have been using and studying the use of such technologies in the provision of mental health services for many years. This presentation will review current research on the use of live interactive video to provide individual outpatient mental health services in rural areas. It will provide an overview of the legal, ethical, financial, technical, and clinical issues associated with operating a rural tele-behavioral health practice. Examples from clinical experience and current best practices will be used to supplement applicable scientific research.

Click here for more information. 

Rural LGBT Health Disparities and Implications for Behavioral Health Treatment
Dani E. Rosenkrantz, MS, EdS, University of Kentucky, & Melissa Zook, MD, FAAFP, AAHIVS, London Women’s Care

This presentation will outline the research on health and health care of rural sexual and gender minorities, with insight into three levels of influences that are important to understand rural behavioral health service delivery.  These include knowledge of actual mental health disparities and risk behaviors present in rural LGBT populations, awareness of factors influencing client and provider relationships, and systems level factors such as discrimination and rural culture.  This presentation will share clinical insights from the presenters’ work with rural Appalachian primary care lesbian and gay patients, LGBT Veterans, LGBT students, HIV patients, and transgender patients, as well as from advocating for LGBT health and training staff on cultural sensitivity.  Practical recommendations will center on ways to address LGBT identity and safety with rural LGBT individuals and how to provide treatment while working in systems that create barriers to LGBT health care.

Click here for more information.

Poster Session:

  1. Demientieff, L. M.  Deg Xit’an, Athabascan Conversations on Wellness: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Radical Possibilities of Relationships. 
  2. Jordan, E., Wieling, E., & Mendenhall, T.  Clinical Perspectives on Barriers to Rural Mental Health.  
  3. Summers, J. A., Nary, D. E., Lassman, H. A., & Smith, L.  How People with Disabilities Thrive in Rural Communities. 
  4. Turo, T., Dykhouse, E., & Muther, J.  Implementing CBT Group Treatment for Depression with Spanish-Speaking Primary Care Patients in Rural Colorado. 
  5. Witt, K. J., & McNichols, C.  Rural counselor supervisors: Practical wisdom from experienced practitioners.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the research results in the posters.
  2. Describe the practice implications from the poster research.

Click here to register.  Additional $20 to register now—phone Conference Coordinator Kay Slama at 320-905-6051 with questions. Note that, although the late registration fee is an additional $20, conference fees remain well below most Continuing Education for 7.5 CEs; fees are now $130 General Registration; $110 Partner Members, and $45 Students.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT:  Psychologists and most other behavioral health professionals can earn up to 7.5 continuing education credits through the Minnesota Psychological Association's CE accreditation with APA.

This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers - Hawai’i Chapter (Approval HI62792017-156) for up to 7.5 Social Work continuing education contact hour(s).

Please note: You must attend each full session to get continuing education credit for the session.

MPA Event Refund Policy:  A 100% refund will be made if the event is cancelled. Refunds, less a $5 handling fee, will be given if a written or emailed cancellation is received at least five working days before the scheduled program begins.  No refund will be given after September 29.